AUBURN, AL - The Coach Tony Barbee era of Auburn Basketball began with a pair of practices at the Auburn Arena on Saturday. The Tigers worked out for 90 minutes each in the morning and in the evening.
"It was great to get back on the court and finally be able to practice with my team," said Barbee. "I've been waiting to do this since the first day I came to Auburn. We have a lot of hard work to do and lot of things to get done in a short period of time before the season starts."
Seven returnees practiced as well as newcomers in freshman Josh Langford, the state of Alabama's No. 1 ranked player, and fellow freshmen Allen Payne, Chris Denson, and junior Adrian Forbes. Juniors Kenny Gabriel, Tony Neysmith and Jake Drum along with sophomores Earnest Ross, Andre Malone, Josh Wallace, Rob Chubb and Dylan Spencer participated in two-a-days as well.
Junior Frankie Sullivan and sophomore Ty Armstrong sat out with injury.
Only 12 percent of Auburn's scoring returns from last year's 15-17 team.
The Tigers concentrated on fundamentals in both practices and continued implementing the offensive system. The biggest emphasis was to establish a defensive mindset and plan. Competitive shooting drills were also part of the workouts.
"It was a very intense practice and very good with two-a-days for the first time in college," said Langford. "I am proud to start up with these guys and am just ready to start the season. I am happy to be around these guys, and I love them to death."
Auburn will play 11 games against 2010 postseason tournament teams, including home games against Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Jacksonville as well as road games at Kentucky and South Florida.
Four of the Tigers' five games against NCAA Tournament teams are at Auburn Arena against Tennessee, Florida, Vanderbilt and Florida State while they play at Kentucky. The six games against NIT teams include at South Florida, Mississippi State twice, Ole Miss twice and Jacksonville, the back-to-back Atlantic Sun Conference Champion.
The Tigers play a pair of exhibition games against vs. West Alabama on Nov. 3 and Columbus State on Nov. 8 before playing the inaugural game in Auburn Arena on Nov. 12 against UNC-Asheville. Auburn will also host the three-day Global Sports Hoops Showcase from Nov. 19-21.